Thursday, July 3, 2008

Are You Kids Scared Yet?

OK, I commented on the first episode of "Fear Itself" a while back. Since then there have been three more excursions into TV horror. Did it get any better? Well...

* "Spooked" - Eric Roberts stars as a dirty cop who gets haunted. There was some decent eerie imagery here, and truth be told, I've always kind of liked Roberts' performances (unlike his sis, he does have a lick of talent). But there was soooo much padding here, too. Look, folks, I'll say it again: a one-hour horror TV show is fine, but break it into shorter vignettes! Most of the plots you're dealing with here DO NOT need an hour to unfold. You end up stretching a 22 minute idea into 44, and it just tends to drag.

* "Family Man"- OK, this had a decent premise: a good father and husband is involved in a car crash with a serial killer, and their two souls trade bodies. Potentially suspenseful stuff, and there are a few decent moments. But the ending...sheesh. Newsflash: horror stories DO NOT have to end in a hopeless, nihilistic manner. That's not scary, just depressing.

* "In Sickness and In Health" - Probably the worst of the bunch so far, and almost totally because of the script. I think I've pointed out before that I'm not a plot guy, and Lea is very much the same. But five minutes into this, she turned to me and told me how it was going to end, and I said "Oh, if it does, man, am I going to be disappointed." And I was disappointed. Shame on you, Victor Salva, and not for your conviction of molesting (and videotaping) a twelve year-old boy (excuse me for sounding less than "progressive," but I can remember a time when sexually abusing a child might make folks in Hollywood a bit reluctant to hire you). No, shame on you because, criminal offenses aside, you have more talent than this crap. You made the truly scary Clownhouse, and the pretty darn good Jeepers Creepers movies (and the fairly craptastic Powder, actually). But this is the best you could do for your TV debut? Since the ENTIRETY of this piece hinged on the ending (a mistake), the worst thing you could have done was to make the conclusion easier to see coming than the Underdog balloon in the Macy's parade. And yet you did.

Sooooo...I'm not really digging this show so far. I'm pinning my hopes on tonight's episode, which is directed by Stuart Gordon (who, at the very least, directed a couple of movies twenty-odd years ago that I really dug). As Boris Karloff would say, only time will tell.


Snorii said...

I got dragged to Jeepers Creepers 2: The Jeeping... or something like that. Does the first one have Jeeps in it as well?

Troy Hickman said...

Yes, it's full of Jeeps. I think there's also an SUV.

Snorii said...

The Jeepening?

I remember that goblin faced big rig was pretty scary in Maximum Overdrive. Maybe this was all foreshadowing to gas prices?